Saturday, July 13, 2024

Names On Government Watch List

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Concerns arise over government sharing terror watch list
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U S Department Of States Foreign Terrorist Organizations Watchlist

The Bureau of Counterterrorism in the U. S. Department of State identifies the organizations whose names appear on the Departments Foreign Terrorist Organizations watchlist. The purpose of this watchlist is to facilitate the fight against terrorism curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.

Currently, the watchlist designates seventy-two FTOs, including some that are well-known to the general public, such as HAMAS, Hizballah, the Palestine Liberation Front, chapters of al-Qaida, Boko Haram, and chapters of ISIS. Not all FTOs are located in the Middle East or western Africa the watchlist also includes the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, the Real Irish Republican Army, the Communist Party of the Philippines/New Peoples Army, and the Continuity Irish Republican Army.

Fourteen other FTOs have been delisted, although their names continue to be included on the watchlist, under this category. In some cases, these organizations have either disbanded, are defunct, or are not presently active.

In selecting organizations to list on the DOSs watchlist, the CT considers three criteria: actual attacks executed, planning and preparations for possible future acts of terrorism and the retention of the capability and intent to carry out such acts.

It goes without saying that this is a list you definitely DONT want to be on!

The Terrorist Screening Center And Redress

The Department of Homeland Securitys Traveler Redress Inquiry Program provides the public with a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experience during travel screening at transportation hubs, such as being incorrectly delayed, denied boarding, identified for additional screening, or any other difficulties while traveling or seeking entry into the country. Since there are many reasons why a traveler may seek redress, DHS TRIP works with the TSC, as appropriate, when an inquiry appears to be related to the watchlist.

The TSC does not accept redress inquiries directly from the public. Instead, members of the public should contact the relevant screening agency with their questions or concerns about screening. The screening agency is in the best position to identify and resolve issues related to that agencys screening process. Information on how to contact screening agencies is listed below:

  • For more information, or to file a redress request related to travel, please see the DHS TRIP website.
  • The State Departments Bureau of Consular Affairs website provides information on how to seek redress for the denial of a visa. Individuals who are overseas should contact the U.S. embassy or consular office abroad regarding visa issues.

You can learn more about the Terrorist Screening Center by reviewing answers to our frequently asked questions.

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Name On Government Watch List Threatens Pilot’s Career

  • Story Highlights
  • Pilot told he’ll be fired if he doesn’t clear his name
  • Aviator’s Pakistan-born wife also on list both are Muslim
  • Government tight-lipped about who is or isn’t on any list
  • Transportation Security Administration seeks “meaningful resolution,” official says

WASHINGTON — For Erich Scherfen, being on a government terror watch list isn’t just a matter of inconvenience. It could end his career.

Erich Scherfen served 13 years in the military, including flying National Guard helicopters.

Scherfen served in the U.S. military for 13 years, as an Army infantryman in the first Gulf War and then as a helicopter pilot in the National Guard. After receiving an honorable discharge, he was hired as a pilot by Colgan Air Inc., a regional airline operating in the Northeast and Texas.

In April, Colgan informed Scherfen that he was on a government list and would be suspended from his job. He was told he faced termination on September 1 unless he was able to clear his name.

But Scherfen, of Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, has been unable to do so and said he fears that it could mean he has no future as a pilot.

“My entire career depends on me getting off this list,” he said. “I probably won’t be able to get a job anywhere else in the world having this mark that I’m on this list.”

Witold Walczak, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Scherfen and his wife in a lawsuit, calls the government actions “unfair” and “unjust.”

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Government Watch List Search

In 2010, an American security contractor attempting to board a plane to Texas from Bogotá, Colombia, was denied a boarding pass. That was when Raymond Earl Knaeble first learned that he had been placed on a U.S. government terrorist watch list.

Knaeble, who was heading home before starting a new job in Qatar, was delayed for weeks. He lost the job. He later sued the Justice Department with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming his due process rights were violated.

Omar Mateen was also on a government terrorist watch list on two occasions but had been taken off by the time he bought the guns he used to massacre 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.

Critics have long blasted the effectiveness and reliability of the terrorist watch list system, asserting that too many people, like Knaeble, are swept up by law enforcement agencies without proper vetting or due process and that too many other, certifiable threats, like Mateen, are left out.

Those concerns received heightened attention in the past few weeks, as the U.S. Senate considered, and ultimately rejected, proposals aimed at expanding a ban on gun sales to people on government terrorist watch lists. A sit-in by Democrats in the House of Representatives seeking to force a votes on the watch list and other gun restriction bills ended with lawmakers vowing to continue their campaign after the Independence Day holiday.

Here is a guide to understanding the debate as it moves forward.

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Exposed Server Was Taken Down After Three Weeks

In a today, Bob Diachenko, Cyber Threat Intelligence Director at security firm Security Discovery, said he discovered a copy of the TSC database on a Bahrainian IP address.

The exposed Elasticsearch cluster contained 1.9 million records, Diachenko said. I do not know how much of the full TSC Watchlist it stored, but it seems plausible that the entire list was exposed.

Information exposed in the leak included data points such as:

  • Full name

Bob Diachenko

Diachenko said he notified the Department of Homeland Security on July 19, the day the database was indexed by search engines Censys and ZoomEye, and when he also found it.

The exposed server was taken down about three weeks later, on August 9, 2021. Its not clear why it took so long, and I dont know for sure whether any unauthorized parties accessed it.

Bob Diachenko, Cyber Threat Intelligence Director at security firm Security Discovery

Contacted by The Record earlier today, the FBI had no comment.

It is unclear if the exposed Elasticsearch server was managed by a US agency, one of its partners, or if this was an illegally obtained copy.

While the existence of the TSC database was kept secret for more than a decade, in recent years, the DHS began notifying US citizens when they were added to the TSCs No Fly List.

Without knowing who is to blame for this leak, it is unclear if the FBI or DHS will have to notify US citizens that were added on the TSC No Fly List that their data was exposed online.

What Is A Government Watchlist

A government watchlist is just a watchlist thats put together by the government rather than by a private entity. There are actually many government watchliststhe U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury all have watchlists that may include different threats. Depending on what your business is about, you may need to use certain watchlists or all of them.One of the most comprehensive government watchlists is the FBIs Terrorist Screening Center watchlist, which allows you to look through individuals who may pose a domestic threat. This list is public and the U.S. Treasury updates it on a regular basis to include the most important individuals you might need to avoid.

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Check Your Credit Reports For Ofac Alerts

Obtain a free copy of your credit report, since OFAC alerts may appear on them. Find out how to order your free credit reports from Annual Even if you don’t find an alert, you may be flagged. According to Sinnar: “Despite the fact that the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right to see all the information in their credit files, at least one major credit reporting agency reportedly includes OFAC alerts only on credit reports that are sent to businesses,” but not on copies sent to you.If you are flagged, you should contact the credit reporting agency to have your name removed.

How To Get Off A Government Watch List

Are you on a federal watch list?

If you aren’t a Senator who can call up the head of Homeland Security, or a high-powered nun whose boss who can ring up Karl Rove, working free from government watch lists will be a tedious and not-very transparent process.

The first rule for most people in getting off a watch list is to accept that you are not on a list.

Most likely, if you are being singled out at the airport for extra scrutiny, or your credit report says you might match a Treasury list, you are the victim of a bad matching algorithm or a vague watch-list entry for some other person.

For instance, men named Robert Johnson across the country have been logging extra hours at airports because there’s no way for the airlines to know, without an I.D. check, which Robert Johnson is the one the government is looking for.

The signs you are being snagged by a watch list include the repeated inability to print out a boarding pass at home or through a kiosk being pulled aside repeatedly for extra questioning and scrutiny of your luggage not being able to open a bank account or get a mortgage, despite fine credit.

If you only occasionally get an SSSS on your boarding pass, you likely aren’t on a watch list — you’ve just been elected for random screening, or for buying a one-way ticket.

Once you think you are either on, or the collateral damage of, a watch list, you need to figure out which one got you.

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How Do I Know If Im On The Watch List

You probably wont ever know for sure if youre on the master watch list. The FBI doesnt disclose its contents. But its a good bet that if the bureau visits you about a terrorism-related investigation, youre probably on there.

As a result of the ACLUs lawsuit with Knaeble, the government in 2015 began telling Americans they were on the no-fly list and offering some reasons. Travelers still dont get advance notice, however, so the only way to find out if you cant fly is to try to board a plane and see whether you get accosted by security. People on the list can file for redress. But Hugh Handeyside, a staff attorney with the ACLUs National Security Project, says the government provides scant information and there is still no process for contesting your inclusion in front of a neutral third-party.

Knaeble, the U.S. Army veteran stranded in Bogotá, was eventually able to return to the United States in August 2010 but not without trouble. He traveled for 12 days, passing through Panama City before arriving in Mexicali, California. Along the way, American and foreign authorities detained, interrogated, and searched him numerous times.

Even though the government has changed its policies about alerting travelers on the no-fly list, the ACLU contends that the process is still far short of constitutional and is fighting in court to get it changed. The debate continues.

Use The Dhs Trip Program If You Are Repeatedly Flagged

If you have been repeatedly identified for additional screening, you can file an inquiry to have it corrected in the DHS system. The information you’ll need is at the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program , the central gateway to address traveler mis-identification or related screening problems at US borders or transportation hubs. Once you determine that you are eligible to file a complaint, proceed to the File a Complaint page and follow Steps 1 3.

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U S Transportation Security Administrations No

The No Fly List of the U. S. Transportation Security Administration is a subset of the U. S. government Terrorist Screening database. It designates individuals prohibited from boarding an aircraft, including some who may be permitted to board after undergoing additional security screening checks than those undergone by passengers whose names are not on the list.

The U. S. government cannot prevent people named on the No Fly List from flying home from another country and is obligated to assist such persons in doing so if they are prevented from boarding an airplane for that purpose. However, the process is complex and time-consuming, and FBI agents or other U. S. officials may seek to question or interrogate you while you are abroad, after your denial of boarding, and while you are seeking authorization to fly back to the United States. This situation can occur even when names are added to the No Fly List by mistake.

Eight situations can cause someones name to be listed: suspicion that one is involved in direct terrorist activity travel to certain countries ones past comments having a name similar to that of another person whose name is already on the list refusing to become an FBI informer a clerical error open warrants or other law enforcement issues and even controversial tweets.

Apnewsbreak: Feds Share Watchlist With 1400 Private Groups

Nearly Half The Names On The US Terrorist Watch List Have ...

FALLS CHURCH, Va. The federal government has acknowledged that it shares its terrorist watchlist with more than 1,400 private entities, including hospitals and universities, prompting concerns from civil libertarians that those mistakenly placed on the list could face a wide variety of hassles in their daily lives.

The governments admission that it shares the list so broadly comes after years of insistence that the list is generally not shared with the private sector.

Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has filed a constitutional challenge to the governments use of the watchlist, called the governments admission shocking.

Weve always suspected there was private-sector dissemination of the terror watchlist, but we had no idea the breadth of the dissemination would be so large, Abbas said.

The watchlist is supposed to include only those who are known or suspected terrorists but contains hundreds of thousands of names. The governments no-fly list is culled from a small subset of the watchlist.

Critics say that the watchlist is wildly overbroad and mismanaged, and that large numbers of people wrongly included on the list suffer routine difficulties and indignities because of their inclusion.

It is not clear what restrictions are placed on how private institutions use the list.

The FBI did not respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment.


This story has corrected the spelling Gadeir Abbas first name.

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Fbi Fugitive And Most Wanted Search

CII will search the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wanted Search Center based on the applicants name and gender. The database allows for a single search that provides access to those individuals who are Fugitives, Missing Persons or are being sought for Information by the FBI in the following categories: Terrorism, Cyber Crime, Murder/Violent Crime, Bank Robbery, Kidnapping/Missing Persons, and Crimes against Children, Parental Kidnappings, Fraud/White T Collar Crime, and Criminal Enterprises/Drugs.

One Million Names On Us Government Terrorist Watch List

One million peopleincluding large numbers of American citizensare on the US governments so-called terrorist watch list, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which held a Washington, D.C. press conference earlier this week to mark the ominous milestone.

Since February of this year the ACLU has maintained an online watch list counter to track the size of the governments watch list. A September 2007 report by the inspector general of the Justice Department reported that the list contained 700,000 names and was growing by 20,000 per month. As of this writing, the counter has passed the 1,001,500 mark.

The Terrorist Screening Center was set up in December 2003 through a Homeland Security directive signed by President George W. Bush, who ordered the agency to consolidate more than a dozen separate terrorist watch lists maintained by different federal agencies.

The resulting Terrorist Screening Database has been used to detain thousands of people during airport security checks or bar them from flying. Foreign nationals have been held up at US border crossings and prevented from obtaining visas based on the list. Local law enforcement agencies have also accessed the database during routine traffic stops.

The ACLU said those on the list included South African leader Nelson Mandela Evo Morales, president of Bolivia and US Senator Edward Kennedy, Democrat from Massachusetts.

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Are Watch Lists New

The FBI has blacklisted suspected threats almost since its inception. J. Edgar Hoover infamously amassed a list of enemies of the United States that included terrorists, communists, spies, anti-war protestors, and civil rights leaders.

The modern terrorist watch list was created after the September 11 attacks. At that time, various government agencies maintained about a dozen separate lists with names of suspected terrorists. After the attacks, the law enforcement and intelligence communities were roundly criticized for failing to share important information, and the consolidated watch list was created to avert future communication blunders.

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